OK, so you now know what a bed bug looks like – but do you know what it looks like when hidden away in your home or personal belongings?
As their name implies, bed bugs are commonly associated with areas where we sleep or relax. Bed bugs are not just in beds and can be found in dressers, chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, in folds of draperies, clocks, phones, shoes, cracks and crevices, under carpet tacks, around baseboards, picture frames, under the bed, in books, door hinges, light fixtures, in wheelchairs and in or under any clutter or objects near a bed or lounging area.
You must be extremely thorough during the inspection process and be sure not to rush through.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO REMOVE anything from the premise you are inspecting. If anything is removed it must be bagged and sealed properly.
During inspection avoid sitting, leaning or placing anything on beds or couches or chairs. Bed bugs may be in different stages during your investigation. Don’t be discouraged, in a short period of time you will be trained to look for certain telltale signs that improve your due diligence.
Tools that can make your search easier include a flashlight, a magnifying glass, a screwdriver (for disassembling items) and sealable plastics bags in several sizes.
Look on your bedspread, blanket, duvet, throw pillows (don’t forget teddy bears or any other stuffed animals or toys), or any other covering you may have on your bed. Examine your sheets and pillowcases, too.
Pull the bed out and away from the wall and remove the headboard. Carefully examine the headboard front and back for any signs of bed bugs.
MATTRESS AND BOX SPRINGS
Carefully examine the surfaces paying close attention to folds and depressions. Then move on to the piping (both upper and lower sides) around the edges of the mattress using the flashlight. If the mattress has buttons, examine them for any signs. Flip the mattress and examine the same on the other side. Sometimes they crawl into the mattress through grommets or tears and cuts.
Examine the box springs. On the back of the box spring is a fabric stapled in place that has to be removed. Bed bugs love to crawl inside the box spring between the staples. Carefully check for bed bugs where the material is folded under around the edges. Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the back material, then carefully examine the inside wood frame as well as outside using your flashlight.
Using the LED light and magnifying glass to look close in closets and dresser drawers, couches, loveseats, pullout beds, recliners and easy chairs, all other non-washable items, curtain, shutters and blinds, electrical items and outlets, animal bedding.
Don’t stop there, bed bugs can be found in nightstands, dressers, pictures on the wall, hanging lamps, bed trunks, book cases, easy chairs,and clocks.
You get the picture.
Once a person has to do a thorough inspection for bed bugs they soon realize that cleaning up clutter BEFORE you get bed bugs is the smart thing to do!
If you should discover bed bugs; plan on spending a lot of time doing laundry for all clothing and fabrics. You must be careful while transporting anything out from the infected room(s). Wash and dry these items on HOT and place them into sealed bags or sealed storage bins and set aside. Do not bring these back into the room you are treating. (You can use a garage, porch or basement). It isn’t necessary to wash all items. Items that are clean can be placed directly into a hot dryer for 40-55 minutes, bagged and set aside.
DON’T OVER PACK CLOTHING IN TUB OR DRYER – LOOSLY FIT SO ALL ITEMS GET HOT
In most cases it is not necessary to dispose of furniture, prior to treatment. In fact, depending on the size of the infestation, the condition and age of the furniture, most infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. If you must discard anything, don’t do it without wrapping and marking it. In many cases the money spent on replacing furniture might be better spent on professional treatment.
Whenever discarding items be sure to wrap, seal and mark items (Bed Bug Infested), before disposal. Someone’s trash is another’s treasure and can fall into the hands of someone who now brings bed bugs into their home spreading the infestation throughout the community.
ADDING NEW FURNITURE
If you made the decision to discard any furniture items and need replacement – do not replace anything until your treatment is 100% successful. You risk infesting your new furniture and having to start treatment all over again.